Top 10 Foods Highest in Iron

Iron’s main purpose as a mineral circulates oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency, even a slight reduction, can cause anemia (fatigue/weakness), whilst more severe depletion can lead to organ failure. On the other hand, too much iron intake can lead to production of harmful free radicals, affecting heart and liver function and interfering with metabolism. However overdose is rare as the body is able regulate iron uptake and the harmful effects usually come from taking too many supplements. The safest and healthiest way to increase iron is by eating foods that are naturally rich with it. Iron is better absorbed from heme (meat) sources, but non-heme (plant) iron causes less damage to the body as it is easier to regulate. 18 milligrams (mg) is the recommended percent daily value. Below is a list of high iron foods. For more high iron foods see the lists of high iron foods by nutrient density, iron rich foods (heme and non-heme), and the list of fruits and vegetables high in iron.

  1.   Mollusks Clams, Mussels, Oysters, Shrimp..  Other Mollusks High in Iron; Oysters , Cuttlefish , Whelk, Octopus , Mussels, Abalone  and Scallops.  
  2.  Liver; Pork, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Beef 
  3.  Squash and Pumpkin Seeds. Sesame, Sunflower , and Flax Seeds. 
  4.  Nuts; Cashew, Pine, Hazelnut, Peanut, Almond  Pine nuts, Hazelnuts, Peanuts , Almonds , Pistachios, and Macadamia. 
  5.   Beef and Lamb (lean cuts are preferable).
  6.  Beans and Pulses;White Beans, Lentils, Soybeans, Kidney beans, Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas) and Lima beans, Navy , Black Beans, Pinto, and Black-eyed Peas. 
  7. Whole Grains, Fortified Cereals, and Bran Iron, Quinoa, Oatmeal, Barley , Rice , Bulgur , Buckwheat, and Millet. Try to choose fortified cereals and those from whole grains but be careful to avoid the more advertised brands as they can contain high sugar content. Bran from whole grains can harm absorption of iron supplements.It is important to remember to avoid whole grains if taking iron supplements. 
  8.   Dark Leafy Greens; Spinach, Swiss Chard , Cooked Turnip Greens, Raw Kale, and Raw Beet Greens. 
  9.  Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
  10.   Tofu without added calcium is better for iron absorption as calcium can inhibit the uptake of iron.